Rafael Nadal reached his 12th French Open final as he extended his perfect record against Roger Federer at Roland Garros with a resounding 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory on a windy Friday in Paris.
The irrepressible 'King of Clay' ended a five-match losing run against Federer with his sixth win in clashes between them at this event, denying the Swiss a triumphant return on the red dirt after sitting out the past three editions of the competition.
Federer was unable to handle Nadal in rallies and the Spaniard's exemplary groundstrokes helped him move one match away from becoming the first player to win 12 titles at the same major. He has never lost a semi-final or final in Paris.
The 37-year-old Federer was looking to become the third-oldest man to reach a grand slam final in the Open Era and the oldest at Roland Garros, but his hopes of a shock victory were essentially wiped out when he dropped serve from 40-0 up in game nine of the second set.
An increasingly frustrated Federer lashed a ball into the stands after failing to adjust when a Nadal backhand clipped the net cord and gave the 17-time major champion an early break in the third.
Chants of "Roger" rang out on Court Philippe-Chatrier but he was unable to stop a rampant Nadal advancing to a final against world number one Novak Djokovic or Dominic Thiem, who he beat in last year's showpiece.